PARIS – Three French police officers were shot dead by a man on arriving at a home in Saint-Just, a remote commune in central France, to respond to a domestic violence call, police said on Wednesday.
A woman who was reported as a victim of domestic violence sought refuge on the roof of the house and was rescued by the police, reported French broadcaster BFMTV.
The house caught fire and the suspected sniper was found dead in his car, police said.
The incident occurred in a small village in Saint-Just, about 480 kilometers southeast of Paris.
It was not clear how he died or where the car was located. Police had previously said the man was armed and were trying to track him down.
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The three police officers killed in the incident were 21, 37 and 45 years old, the Interior Ministry said in a statement. A fourth police officer was injured and his injuries were not fatal, he said.
French President Emmanuel Macron offered condolences to the families of the dead officers.
“To protect us, our forces act by putting their lives at risk. They are our heroes, ”Macron wrote on Twitter.
Authorities did not comment on the reason for the attack.
The alleged sniper was 48 years old and was known to the police because of at least one previous court case involving non-payment of food for children, according to an official at the prosecutor’s office in the nearby town of Clermont-Ferrand.
France’s interior minister described the attacker as a “maniac”.